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January 3, 2012

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New Year, New Resolutions

By Mandie Sweetnam

As I was making my list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2012, I started to wonder, “If my dog could make my resolutions for me, what would they be?” I felt like it was an interesting way to think about the changes I wanted to make in my life for this coming year. I thought it may be beneficial to examine my resolutions through someone else’s eyes. What better eyes to look through than the honest eyes of a dog. It emphasizes the anonymous saying “I want to be the person my dog thinks I am”. This year, I’m going to try to do that.  

  • Resolution 1 is to spend more time outside. I love being outside. In fact, if it were socially acceptable and plumbing and electricity were easy to install, I may even live in a tree house. Especially if it were one of the tree houses featured in Architectural Digest. The problem is that when I get home, there’s just so much to do, leaving most of my outdoor time to the weekends. My dogs love being outside with me, so it’s natural that they would put this on my resolution list.

I could definitely live here.     

  • Resolution 2 is to revamp my emergency preparedness kit (disaster supply kit). Naturally, my emergency kit not only includes items for my husband and I, but also includes items for my pets.  You can never be too cautious, so I like to re-evaluate my plan from time to time. 2011 brought us an earthquake, Hurricane Irene, snow and some pretty big storms, so I’ll be prepared for whatever 2012 brings! If you want to learn more about building your own basic disaster supply kit, take a look at the FEMA website here: And for tips on what to include for your pet, go this link:

  • Resolution 3 would be to go to bed earlier. My dogs go to bed when I do. That means if I decide to stay up like a night owl, they will hang out with me until they can’t keep their droopy eyes open anymore. Then when I decide to go to bed, they will wake up and go to bed again. Since I know that they sleep most of the day while I’m at work, I don’t feel too bad about this. Also, I will admit that going to bed an hour earlier would be a much needed adjustment for me. The dogs will appreciate not being woken up right when they’ve started to dream about chasing squirrels.
  • Resolution 4 is to dance more. I love to dance and my dogs love dancing with me. I’m not embarrassed to admit that on any given afternoon, I can be found dancing  around to the Best of the 80s while I clean my house. Not only is it good exercise for me, but the dogs really get into it. And it’s fun! Even the cat thinks so!

They are simply amazed by my dance moves.

  • Resolution 5, my final dog resolution, is to do more for the less fortunate animals in my community. I plan to volunteer more, to donate more and to spread the word about how others can help. I will also participate in more community events to benefit animals that are homeless, sick or injured. (Especially those events that my dogs are allowed to attend with me.)

The dogs say you have to help kittens too.

My list of resolutions may not be long, profound or actually from the dogs, but they’re genuine and simple, just like a dog. What resolutions do you think your pet would make for you?

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